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SGIA Conference Looks at Functional, Industrial Printing

The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s second iteration of its FP3: Functional Printing, Process & Products Conference brought industry leaders to Itasca, Ill., May 5-7 for curated education on innovations, strategies and technologies for today’s functional and industrial printing businesses. FP3 also offered special networking events, including a tour of local package printer PrintSure’s facility.

“We wanted to build on last year’s successful FP3 conference launch and continue to create the ultimate comprehensive experience for functional and industrial printers,” says Thomas Bianchi, vice president of Eastprint and chairman of SGIA’s Industrial Applications and Printed Electronics Committee, which planned the event. “FP3 is about ensuring the success of businesses and the industry at large by delivering education on the latest business trends and technologies, along with opportunities to make valuable connections.”

Gene Marks, owner of The Marks Group PC consulting firm, opened the conference with his keynote, “The Road to 2020: Taxes, Tariffs and Technology,” discussing how business leaders and decision makers can prepare for four power trends—Washington and the economy, technology, taxes and people—that will ultimately impact their operations.

The sessions that followed spoke to different business considerations in industrial applications and printed electronics, from technology and trends to the workforce and legislative and regulatory issues. Among these was “Advancements for In-Mold Electronics and Beyond,” with Sun Chemical’s Erika Rebrosova discussing emerging applications in this increasingly popular method for backlighting, smart surfaces and automotive interior control panels. In “Creating a Local Workforce Pipeline,” Tapecon Inc.’s Michael Gebera covered the steps and challenges in engaging local educational and training institutions for such initiatives.

Attendee Rob King of DuraTech Industries particularly enjoyed Process + Results’ Jamie Parker’s leadership and coaching presentation. “The strategies she talked about will help with my business and, honestly, will help me better listen and communicate overall,” he says.

Prior to the conference, entrepreneur and author Colby B. Jubenville led an executive leadership workshop on storytelling and persuasion, and how these can deepen customer bonds. “We all have powerful stories to tell,” said Jonathan Darling of Romo Durable Graphics, “and I learned new ways to talk about our company’s journey.”

Jubenville also presented the closing keynote, “You Go First: Turning Learning into Action,” in which he challenged attendees to consider how they would capitalize on their most impactful ideas and connections from FP3 with their teams.

Networking events complemented the educational sessions. Attendees, speakers, SGIA leadership and sponsors connected over the Cinco de Mayo dinner, Casino Night & Dinner and the PrintSure facility tour that closed out the conference. With a focus on package prototyping and short-run custom packaging, PrintSure offered an inside look at their innovative digital printing and finishing approaches and capabilities.

“This event, and events like it, give us the opportunity to get together, share ideas and build a more cohesive community,” says Doug Billings of Empire Screen Printing. “That helps everybody.”

FP3 2019 was supported by 12 sponsors: Memcon, Nazdar Ink Technologies, Proell Inc. (Platinum Sponsors), Chromaline Screen Print Products, dlp Imaging Inc., Natgraph Ltd., Norcote International Inc., Regal Graphics, RH Solutions LLC, SAATI, Sakurai USA Inc. and Sefar Inc. (Supporting Sponsors).

SGIA is a trade association for the leaders of the 21st Century printing industry. SGIA members are bold, driven, creative and riding a wave of technology and innovation. In addition to providing high-quality information and educational resources designed to help move the printing community forward, SGIA produces the leading trade shows PRINTING United (Dallas, Oct. 23-25) and Graphics of the Americas (Miami, Feb.27-29, 2020). For more info, visit www.sgia.org.

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